10 years ago today, the TF2 Spycrab was born

A spe-shell day. 

Fortnite is currently the game most associated with meme culture, but back in the day, Team Fortress 2 was responsible for some incredible viral creations of its own. One of these memes, a crustacean sensation known as the Spycrab, became a huge part of the Team Fortress 2 community and was immortalised after achieving official recognition from Valve.

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The Spycrab meme first appeared 10 years ago today in July 2008, when players began to notice a mysterious glitch in the Spy model's animation. If a player crouched with the disguise kit, looked up into the sky and walked forwards, their Spy's arms would twist into a pincer formation, while their legs would buckle and appear to walk sideways. Horrifying, yet hilarious.

The first recorded sighting of a Spycrab showed a number of bemused onlookers crowding around a player adopting the Spycrab position. Inspired by the player's name, fans soon began to create posters asking other players to 'save the endangered Spycrab'. As a Spycrab cannot harm people (the player in question is looking upwards), the TF2 community agreed not to kill them in game, and this became a religiously-enforced informal rule. If enough Spycrabs gathered, members from both BLU and RED teams would come together in a peaceful 'Spycrab migration' and walk around together.

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Despite the fact the Spycrab was born from a glitch, the popularity of the meme meant that Valve chose to keep it in the game, and in 2009, the Spycrab pose was officially integrated into the game as a taunt. They even produced an official Spycrab plush, which is adorable, I must admit.

So remember folks, not all game glitches are bad. Most importantly, remember to protect the endangered Spycrab!

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Emma Kent

Emma Kent

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Emma was Eurogamer's summer intern in 2018 and we liked her so much we decided to keep her. Now a fully-fledged reporter, she loves asking difficult questions, smashing people at DDR and arguing about, well, everything.

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